Posts Tagged ‘Definition’

A Shrewish Wife!

May 3, 2017

When one thinks of a quarrelsome or nagging wife, one name (word) immediately comes to mind . . . Shakespeare was wise to use the word “shrew” instead (The Taming of the Shrew).

Xanthippe or Xantippe

\ zan-tip-ee \, noun;

  1. the wife of Socrates
  2. a scolding or ill-tempered wife; a shrewish woman

Source: The Highly Selective Dicationary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.


Amazing Adjectives, Number Fifteen!

April 18, 2017

I have never actually run across this word in any book I have read to date, but you just never know when you will encounter a new word or two.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“Even in complex societies, matters of everyday life are often subject to regulation by consuetudinary law.”


\ kon-swi-tood-n-er-ee, –tyood \, adjective;

 1.  customary; traditional

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Beware of Censorship!

November 16, 2016

No one likes to be censored.  By definition, a censor is “an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.” (Source

So, I thought I would consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon-Malone) to see what definitions I could find . . .

“A man who knows more that he thinks you ought to.”  (Laurence Peter)

“People who are paid to have dirty minds.”  (John Trevelyan)

“A more depraving and corrupting practice than anything pornography can produce.”  (Tony Smythe)

“A legal corollary of public modesty.”  (Jonathan Miller)

“An excuse to talk about sex.”  (Fran Lebowitz)

“A practice as indefensible as infanticide.”  (Rebecca West)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

An Autobiography By Any Other Name!

November 9, 2016

An autobiography is actually a literary genre and is defined (by Google) as “an account of a person’s life written by that person.”   However, I found some rather interesting alternative definitions in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary.  Enjoy!

“An obituary in serial form with the last instalment missing.” (Quentin Crisp)

“Alibi-ography.”  (Clare Boothe Luce)

“A book that suggests the only thing wrong with the author is . . . his memory.”  (Franklin P. Jones)

“Books that ought to begin with Chapter Two.” (Ellery Sedgwick)

“Unrivaled vehicles for telling the truth — about others.”  (Philip Guedalla)

“What is now as common as adultery — and hardly less reprehensible.”  (John Grigg)

“The life story of a motor car.”  (Peter Eldin)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

The Urban Lifestyle!

May 25, 2016

I can’t explain it, but despite having grown up on a farm (a vineyard with winery, actually) in rural northern lower Michigan, I have always been drawn to the city.  I’m apparently much more comfortable with the hustle and bustle that accompanies an urban environment.  So here are some definitions of the word “city” that I found in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

“A place where you are least likely  to get a bite from a wild sheep.” (Brendan Behan)

“Not a concrete jungle, but a human zoo.”  (Desmond Morris)

“Millions of people being lonely together.”  (Henry Thoreau)

“The only desert still available to us.”  (Albert Camus)

An Oddity for Sure!

October 28, 2015

Odd can be defined in a number of ways . . . But despite all of the oddities in life (especially the 6th definition below), this is what makes each of us truly unique.  Following these definitions, I have rounded up a few of my favorite quotations on the subject.  Let’s go forth and be unique!

1. a :  being without a corresponding mate <an odd shoe>
    b (1) :  left over after others are paired or grouped (2) :  separated from a set or series
2. a :  somewhat more than the indicated approximate quantity, extent, or degree —usually used in combination <300-odd pages>
    b (1) :  left over as a remainder <had a few odd dollars left after paying his bills> (2) :  constituting a small amount <had some odd change in her pocket>
3. a :  being any of the integers (as −3, −1, +1, and +3) that are not divisible by two without leaving a remainder
    b :  marked by an odd number of units
    c :  being a function such that f(−x) = −f(x) where the sign is reversed but the absolute value remains the same if the sign of the independent variable is reversed
4. a :  not regular, expected, or planned <worked at odd jobs>
    b :  encountered or experienced from time to time :  occasional
5. :  having an out-of-the-way location :  remote
6  :  differing markedly from the usual or ordinary or accepted :  peculiar

“You have to be odd to be number one.”  (Dr. Seuss)

“You say freak, I say unique.”  (Christian Baloga)

“I am an artist you know … it is my right to be odd.” (E. A. Bucchianeri)


Hate, Beyond Reason!

February 23, 2015

Have you ever experience the emotion of intense dislike?   A feeling of dislike so strong that it represses action?  Then you have experienced misology.


\mi-SOLuh-jee, mahy-\, noun;

1.  distrust or hatred of reason or reasoning.
Other definitions expand beyond the hatred of reason to include the hatred (or fear) of argument, discussion or enlightenment.  Here’s an example: Because of her misology she seldom stood up for her beliefs.


February 8, 2015

platitudesdemotivatorOur friends at have done it again.  Here is another demotivator on platitudes.   But what exactly is a platitude? defines it as “a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.”  Some of the common synonyms include: cliche, truism, bromide, stereotype, and commonplace. It sounds to me like the epitome of un-originality.

Politicians and Politics!

January 30, 2015

We constantly bemoan our politicians (and politics in general), and yet, nothing ever changes.  It is a huge revolving door — out with the old, in with the new — with the expectation that somehow this way of doing business will all change at some point in time.  But alas, it probably never will (how’s that for cynicism?).  In the meantime, here are a few delightful quotations/definitions of politicians and politics that may provide a smile.  Happy Humpday!

Politician(s) . . .
“A person with whose politics you don’t agree. (If you agree with him, he’s a statesman)” — David Lloyd George

“An animal that can sit on the fence and still keep both ears to the ground.”  — H.L. Mencken

“A fellow who will lay down your life for his country.”  — Texas Guinan

“One who approaches every situation with an open mouth.”  — Adlai Stevenson

“Someone who believes you don’t have to fool the people all the time – just during election campaigns.”  — Stanley Davis

“People who divide their time between running for office and running for cover.”  — Anonymous

“People who shake your hand before an election, and your confidence after.”  — Ernie Kovacs

“People who, when they see the light at the end of the tunnel, order more tunnel.”  — John Quintan

Politics . . .
“The sport of rich men and prostitutes.”  — Richard Dreyfuss

“An occupation that has become so expensive, it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.”  — Will Rogers

“The only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson

“Choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”  — J.K. Galbraith

“A dog’s life without a dog’s decencies.”  — Rudyard Kipling

“A science derived from two words: ‘poli’ meaning many, and ‘tics’ meaning small bloodsucking insects.”  — Chris Clayton

Have You Heard The Latest?

March 2, 2014

Gossiping . . . our fascination with and our open conversation about the private affairs of others . . . has been around for centuries.  The word gossip (and the corresponding behavior) generally has a very negative connotation which includes such actions as idle talk and the spreading of rumors, “dirt” (or scandals), or the sharing of any other misinformation or conjecture.  So why do we do it and why do we find it so difficult to resist the urge to engage in gossip?  Hmm, I wish I had the answer.  And while the “social bonding” aspect of this behavior could be considered a positive, I’m almost certain that the negative aspects far out number the positive.  Here are a few definitions of “gossip” (in the form of quotations) courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary.  Enjoy!

“The art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing left unsaid.” (Walter Winchell)

“When you hear something you like about someone you don’t.” (Earl Wilson)

“Vice enjoyed vicariously.” (Elbert Hubbard)

“The art form of the man and the woman in the street.”  (W.H. Auden)

“The only industry that finances its own blackmail.” (Walter Wanger)

“A sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it.”  (George Eliot)

“News running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.” (Liz Smith)